Web based review sites and smart phones are providing local small businesses with incredible opportunities to make a huge impact on their businesses.
Online reviews are simply a fact of life nowdays. Even small communities’ businesses are being reviewed online. With smartphones, the reviews can now take place instantaneously, via many apps designed to allow access to review sites, including Yelp’s iphone app. According to Yelp:
- Just over 1 in 4 searches on Yelp are performed from our popular iPhone application.
- Even more thrilling: every five seconds someone uses the Yelp app to call a local business.
If you believe you can dismiss these reviews, take note. According to Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey from last year, “ninety percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.”
You can reasonably assume people will ask their family and friends first for a recommendation but if none are familiar with your business people are highly likely to base their decision to visit your business based upon online reviews. If you have consistently negative reviews, you can be pretty certain they will decide to go to elsewhere.
What are people saying about your business online?
No business will receive all glowing reviews. In fact, people are more likely to trust the reviews they find online if there are some negative reviews.
However, it is important to pay attention to all the reviews, even the negative ones. Is there a consistent theme with the negative reviews? Are people commenting frequently about poor service, a poor product, bad business practices? You need to take these reviews seriously and look at them objectively. Is there something you can do to improve the experience of your customer?
Use online reviews to find ways to improve your services, business processes and products. Ignoring the bad reviews will not make them go way, in fact you can assume you will loose business if all people use to make a decision to go to your business is the reviews they are finding online.
Find out how Mid Columbia Webs can help you optimize your web presence to take advantage of these online review sites, contact us for a free consult to learn more!
What changes (if any) have you made to your business based upon online reviews? Please comment below and share your experience.